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European City Breaks

Park Güell, Barcelona

Barcelona

The defiantly cosmopolitan leanings of Barcelona as the capital of the Catalan region makes the city a discerning option for a European city and beach break to both the medieval and modernist heart of Spain.

The sheer diversity on offer in Barcelona ensures there is plenty to appease every traveller. The esteemed Gothic Quarter's meandering cobbestone walkways stretching back from the Mediterranean, offering a visually stimulating journey through serene squares and ancient buildings, containing a wealth of bars, shops and restaurants to explore.

Culture vultures can immerse themselves in a raft of stunning architectural feats, ranging from soaring 14th century cathedrals to the unique works of celebrated and distinctive architect, Gaudí, whose assorted creations can be seen throughout the city.

Dublin

Ireland's capital is an increasingly burgeoning feature on the list of many travellers to Western Europe.

A heady blend of tangible Celtic history chimes with near unrivalled nightlife in the form of a pub culture with live traditional music and friendly bar atmosphere at the heart of a thriving nightlife scene. Guinness lovers the world over can visit the home of the Guiness brewery off St James's Gate, where the fable of how the ale synonymous with Ireland came intro fruitition after Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year tenancy.

Beyond the bar doors is a cultural hotbed consisting of museums and literary roots which has seen the title of Unesco City of Literature bestowed upon surrounds inspiring James Joyce classics Ulysses and Dubliners.

 

Temple Bar, Dublin
Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Rampant creativity abounds in the cultural calendar of the Netherlands capital. 

Exhibitions, festivals and extravagant nightlife ensure the younger demographic are well catered, although the city also appeals to those seeking a more peaceful break.

With a plethora of renowned modern art museums having been recently renovated, including the Stedelijk museum of modern art and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam offers an alternative, offbeat romance enthused undercurrent beneath the surface image of reveller's paraside. Historic buildings and winding canals glide under picturesque bridges, while Museumplein square provides an array of pleasant cafes.

Berlin

The German capital is steeped in diversity at every turn. Whether it's a techno evening at one of the city's industrial zone turned urban hangouts, or a cocktail atop one of the raft of chic beer gardens, Berlin is a ready made feast of cultural delight for all budgets and discerning tastes.

Historical significance underpins much of the city's sights and sounds, with the 20th Century fallout alone accounting for a wealth of iconic events which have shaped the foundations of the city in the form of the remnants of the Berlin Wall and the emotionally arresting Holocaust Memorial near Potsdamer Platz, where a field of concrete includes perspective shifting lighting effects.

 

Brandenburg Gate
Paris

Paris

As portrayed in many corners of world cinema, the Parisian streets are adorned with visual appeal and romantic overtones.

Whether travelling as a couple, as a solitary writer, or with a group of friends, Paris' unending beauty holds a caressing appeal for all who enter the iconic cultural riches of the French capital.

A visit to the city's various landmarks is reason enough to make the trip, with the view from the Eiffel Tower a must do excursion, while montmartre hill to the north of the city provides an equally impressive vista amidst the laid-back unique village atmosphere of montmartre. 

Champs-Élysées and Rue St-Honoré are unrivalled retail therapy hotpots, while romantic boat rides along The Seine allow you to live out all those movie based romantic fantasies.

 

Budapest

Resting along the Danube River, Budapest provides a range of unique experiences as part of an unforgettable Hungarian adventure.

From the vast amount of hot springs available in abundance, where travellers and inhabitants alike can sample a bathhouse visit as the Romans would have, becoming a staple Budapest excursion with the choice between traditional and modern establishments.

Scintillating views from the city bridges lend itself to a romantically inclined city of epicurean delights which houses some of the most sophisticated cuisine around the globe. 

 

Budapest
Florence city panorama

Florence

Reachable from East Midlands Airport when flying into nearby Pisa, Tuscan capital Florence allows visitors to experience a veritable renaissance era destination.

Roman and medieval history is gloriously palpable through the city, with every step seemingly housing an architectural marvel. The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce display striking examples of Renaissance period art in themselves, resting alongside an example of Michaelangelo's feats of architectural majesty in the San Lorenzo library.

If witnessing the beautiful birthplace of the renaissance wasn't enough, sample authentic Florentine cuisine such as Tuscan bread with a bistecca alla fiorentina, or T-bone steak cooked over hot charcoal, which can be washed down with a visit to one of many enoteca or wine bars.